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Students are ordinarily subject to the curricular requirements outlined in the Bulletin in effect at the start of their current degree. See below for links to previous Bulletins (bulletins prior to 2013-2014 are in PDF format only).

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Dental Education Information

dental students at iu south bendMission

The mission of the programs in dental education is to be a leader in providing high quality education and clinical experiences to undergraduate students for future roles as oral health professionals. The program is committed to excellence in the theory and practice of dental hygiene and in the development of competent, socially sensitive, culturally diverse, and ethically responsible professionals.

The Dental Education Program awards the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene.

As an integral part of its mission, the programs operate a health care facility, the IU South Bend Dental Hygiene Clinic, which provides preventive oral health services at moderate cost to the residents of Michiana. The setting emphasizes oral health education, promotes increased oral health awareness among consumers, and fills a void in meeting the needs of the dentally underserved. The clinic is open to the public from September through June.

Program Goals

At the completion of the dental hygiene program students will be able to:

  1. Exhibit the highest level of professionalism.
  2. Deliver high quality patient care by the use of sound judgment, critical thinking skills, and evidence based decision making.
  3. Emphasize the role of the dental hygienist as a patient educator involved in community health engagement activities related to health promotion and disease prevention.

Program Objectives

To be able to fulfill the requirements of a Bachelor Degree in Dental Hygiene and promote the overall program goals, graduates of the Department in Dental Hygiene at Indiana University South Bend will be able to:

  1. Apply didactic information through patient care.
  2. Demonstrate critical thinking through writing, speaking and listening.
  3. Adhere to the ethical, legal and professional codes of conduct expected of the dental hygiene practitioner.
  4. Evaluate the different career roles of the dental hygienist.
  5. Design oral health community events that provide solutions to access to care and health education.


The IU South Bend Dental Hygiene degree program is fully accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation and is affiliated with the Indiana University School of Dentistry.

The Student’s Responsibility

All colleges establish academic requirements that must be met before a degree is granted. These regulations include such things as curricula and courses, the requirements for majors and minors, and university procedures. Advisors and faculty are available to advise students on how to meet these requirements; however, each student is individually responsible for fulfilling them. If requirements are not satisfied, the degree is withheld pending satisfactory fulfillment. It is important that each student be well acquainted with all requirements described in this publication and the clinic manual of the Dental Hygiene degree program.

Students in the Dental Hygiene degree program are expected to comply with the Professional Codes of Conduct as outlined in the clinic manual.

Dental Hygiene

The Dental Hygiene degree program offers the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree. The bachelor degree program prepares  students for not only entry into clinical practice, but also for for leadership roles in the profession.

General Information

Dental Hygiene is the study of the art and science of preventive oral health care including the management of behavior to prevent oral disease and promote health.

Admission Policies
Predental Hygiene Program

Students are admitted as predental hygiene students while they are completing prerequisite courses for the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene. The student services staff of the College of Health Sciences provides academic advising for predental hygiene students. Call (574) 520-4571 to make an appointment with an advisor.

Professional Program

One class is admitted into the Dental Hygiene degree program each year to begin the course of study in the fall. Admission is determined by the Dental Hygiene Admissions, Progression, and Graduation Committee. An application for admission to the Dental Hygiene degree program must be completed and returned to the Office of Dental Education by March 1.

Each applicant is evaluated on the basis of academic preparation and record.

Criteria for Admission Eligibility

Students must

  • Be admitted or is eligible for admission to Indiana University. Applications must be sent to the IU South Bend Office of Admissions.
  • Submit required dental hygiene admission materials to the Dental Hygiene degree program.
  • Complete all prerequisite courses or their equivalent with a grade of C or higher in each course.
  • Be able to complete all prerequisite courses by July 1. Preference will be given to students who have completed all coursework by the end of spring semester.
  • Not repeat more than three courses. Applicants may only repeat two science courses.
  • Complete Dental Hygiene Observations.
  • Complete a 300-word typed response to a question posed by the Admissions, Progression and Graduation Committee. Contact the department for the questions.

Required Admission Materials

Note | Students must complete all required prerequisite coursework before they are eligible to enroll in Dental Hygiene classes.

Listed below are the required admission materials for the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene, entry level. The Dental Hygiene Program at Indiana University South Bend will participate in the ADEA Dental Hygiene Centralized Application Service, known as DHCAS, beginning in August 2013. Applicants applying to the entry-level or degree completion  Dental Hygiene program for the 2013 entering class will apply online using the DHCAS application. To learn more about the DHCAS application process, visit

  • Dental Hygiene Program Application | This is different than the Indiana University application, is obtained from the Office of Dental Education, and must be returned to this office. This application is valid only for the IU South Bend Dental Hygiene degree program, and not other Indiana University Dental Hygiene degree programs.
  • Curriculum Information Sheet | This is obtained from the Office of Dental Education and returned to that office. Curriculum information sheets or similar forms from other programs are not accepted.
  • College Transcript | An official transcript from all colleges and universities attended must be submitted to the Dental Hygiene degree program in addition to the transcripts required by the IU South Bend Office of Admissions.
  • Documentation of Dental Hygiene Observations | Applicants must observe at least two different dental hygienists in at least two different practice settings for a total of four hours. To document the observation, request the dental hygienist to provide the following information on their office letterhead: the applicants name, date, time of observation, and their signature. An appointment for dental hygiene treatment at the IU South Bend Dental Clinic during the academic year may be substituted for one of the two required observations.
  • Personal Statement | Applicants must submit a 300-word response answering a question posed by the Admissions, Progression and Graduation Committee.

Applicants selected for regular admission and who meet the March 1 application deadline are notified of their admission status. To hold a place in the class, applicants must return the confirmation form and register for classes by July 15. Applications received after the March 1 deadline are not accepted. Once acceptance is finalized, students enrolled at other Indiana University campuses must complete an intercampus transfer before they can enroll and register for classes at IU South Bend.

Admission Scoring and Acceptance

Applicants are evaluated based on their science GPA, pre-requisite GPA, overall GPA and strength of their personal statement. Each applicant will be scored according to the following:

Science GPA | 35%
Pre-requisite GPA | 35%
Overall GPA | 20%
Personal Statement | 10%

GPA scores are based on the following:

4 points will be given if GPA is 3.5-4.0
3 points will be given if GPA is 3.0-3.4
2 points will be given if GPA is 2.5-2.9
1 point will be given if GPA is <2.5

The personal statement is worth 20 points and is evaluated utilizing a rubric based on 4 points being excellent, 3 points being good, 2 points being average and 1 point being poor. The categories are: grammar, punctuation, spelling, content, and organization. Once each applicant’s GPAs and Personal Statement has been evaluated they are ranked according to the highest application score (4.0 is the highest). The first 30 applicants with the highest scores who have completed all pre-requisite coursework by the end of the spring semester will be given preliminary acceptance. The applicants who will finish requirements in the first summer session will be filtered with the remaining applicants on the alternate list. Applicants are required to submit spring and summer session 1 grades to the Dental Education office.

Academic Regulations

Students are expected to comply with the:

  • Academic regulations and policies of Indiana University, Professional Codes of Conduct of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, Components of professional development of the IU South Bend Dental Hygiene degree program Standards of Practice of the American Dental Hygienists' Association.
  • Students admitted to the Dental Hygiene degree program should consult the clinic manual for updates and additional policies governing academic policies, procedures, and academic standing.

Academic Policies
  • Students must earn a grade of C or better in all required courses, including general education courses, and maintain a semester and overall GPA of at least 2.0.  A student who does not meet the academic regulations of the University and the Dental Hygiene Program is placed on probation.
  • Students must follow the Dental Hygiene course sequence as outlined in the IU South Bend Campus Bulletin. Failure to follow the sequence can result in delayed/denied admission to the next course sequence.
  • If a student does not pass one of the clinical practice courses (DHYG-H 218, DHYG-H 219, DHYG-H 219, DHYG-H 221, DHYG-H 300, DHYG-H 301, DHYG-H 302) or one of the radiology courses (DHYG- H 303, DHYG-H 305, DHYG-H 306, DHYG-H 307, DHYG-H 312) with a grade of C or better, the student will not be eligible to continue in the clinical practice course sequence and his or her status will be changed to out-of-sequence. Out-of-sequence students must follow the policies and procedures regarding reinstatement in order to complete the program.
  • A student will be dismissed from the program if any two clinical, didactic, radiology courses or a combination of these courses are not passed with a grade of C or better. There are no options for reassessment.
  • Dental hygiene courses, other than clinical practice and radiology courses, that are not passed must be retaken and passed with a grade of C or better the next time they are offered. It is the student’s responsibility to enroll in the failed course in the proper semester.
  • Academic and/or Clinical Alert: Alerts within the professional program will be given to inform students if their academic progress is not consistent with program expectations and are at risk for failure in a course/s. Information will be provided on the deficiency noted and recommendations for remediation will be made by the faculty issuing the alert. Failure to remediate and make acceptable progress will result in re-evaluation of academic standing and progression within the program. At the issuance of the second alert, the student will be issued a Learning Contract outlining the issue, the necessary remediation, and the outcome if the student is not successful at the end of remediation. Two or more academic alerts within a semester may be grounds for dismissal from the program.
  • Learning Contract and Professional Improvement Plan | When a Learning Contract is issued a Professional Improvement Plan will be implemented and the student will have a formal conference with the Assistant Director and Director.  The issues leading to the alerts will be discussed, recommendations will be made for remediation with specific due dates and requirements along with the outcome if the student is not successful during the plan. Should the student not be successful, dismissal from the program will occur. Once dismissed, the student has a right to appeal the dismissal.
  • Students must be certified in CPR before they begin DHYG-H 219 Clinical Practice I and must remain certified while enrolled in all clinical courses. Students are required to take the Professional Rescuer course with AED instruction. The certification must be valid for the two years that they are a student in the program. This means student must take the course within a month or two of beginning the clinic coursework.      
  • Students must provide a current health evaluation (history and physical examination), dental evaluation, vision evaluation, and record of immunization status before beginning clinical practice and DHYG-H 218 Fundamentals of Dental Hygiene.

Good Standing

To remain in good standing in the professional program, a student must:

  • Maintain a grade of C (2.0) or better in each required course.
  • Not repeat any course more than once.
  • Maintain an overall GPA of 2.0 or above.
  • Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior.
  • Follow the required course sequence.

Clinical Promotion  

In addition to the general academic policies, students must meet the following requirements to be promoted through the clinical course sequences:

Students will be promoted to the H219 Clinical Practice I upon successful completion of:

  • DHYG-H 218 Fundamentals of Dental Hygiene
  • DHYB-H 303 Radiology Lecture

Students will be promoted to  DHYG-H 300 Clinical Practice A-S upon successful completion of:

  • DHYG-H 219 Clinical Practice I
  • DHYG-H 221 Clinical Dental Hygiene Procedures
  • DHYG-H 305 Radiology Lab I  
  • DHYG-H 205 Medical and Dental Emergencies

Students will be promoted to DHYG-H 301 Clinical Practice II upon successful completion of:

  • DHYG-H 300 Clinical Practice A-S

Students will be promoted to DHYG-H 302 Clinical Practice III upon successful completion of:

  • DHYG-H 222 Advanced Clinical Dental Hygiene Procedures
  • DHYG-H 301 Clinical Practice II
  • DHYG-H 306 Radiology Lab II

Academic Probation

A student is placed on academic probation for the duration of the next regular semester or summer session following the one in which they failed to:

  • Attain a single course grade of C or higher
  • Attain a CGPA of 2.0
  • Demonstrate acceptable ethical or professional behavior
  • Follow the required course sequence
  • Abide by the Indiana University Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct.


A student will be dismissed from the program when there is a lack of progress toward the degree or are not able to address all areas of the Learning Contract. Lack of progress will include, but will not be limited to:

  • Failure to achieve a CGPA of 2.0 in any two consecutive semesters
  • Failure to complete all required courses with a minimum grade of C by the second completed attempt
  • Failure to retake and pass with a grade of C or better dental hygiene courses offered once a year
  • Failure to meet the stipulations of probation
  • Failure to meet the criteria components of the Professional Behavior Contract
  • Failure to remediate following the issuance of an Academic or Clinical Alert or 2 or more alerts occurring within the program; or failure to meet the components of a Learning Contract or Professional Improvement Plan
  • Failure to meet all the requirements for reinstatement
  • Dismissal may occur without prior probation


A student may appeal a recommendation for probation or dismissal in accordance with the IU South Bend appeals process, as outlined in this publication.


See Academic Regulations and Policies for all campuses in the IU South Bend Bulletin for policies regarding:

  • Withdrawal from a class
  • Withdrawal from the university

A grade lower than a C is not a valid reason for withdrawal from a course.

Withdrawal from the Dental Hygiene Program

Students who withdraw from the Dental Hygiene degree program can apply for reinstatement. Students who withdraw a second time are not readmitted or eligible for reinstatement. Students who are administratively withdrawn from the program are not eligible for reinstatement.

Leave of Absence

Students must submit, in writing, using the Programs in Dental Education Change in Academic Standing form, a request for a leave of absence to the director of dental education. Requests for leave of absence are evaluated and approved on the basis of academic standing and potential for progress toward the degree.

Students granted a leave of absence, delaying the clinical course sequence, changes their status within the program to out-of-sequence. Therefore, the policies and procedures for reinstatement apply to them. Reinstatement is granted depending upon the availability of clinical spaces and satisfactory completion of any condition and/or faculty recommendations existing at the time of leave. Reinstatement to the programs in dental education is not guaranteed.

Academic Bulletins

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